Kierkegaard’s subjective ontology: A metaphysics of the existing individual

Journal article


Colledge, Richard. (2004). Kierkegaard’s subjective ontology: A metaphysics of the existing individual. International Philosophical Quarterly. 44(1), pp. 5 - 22. https://doi.org/10.5840/ipq200444161
AuthorsColledge, Richard
Abstract

In the context of the contemporary emergence of a “postmodern Kierkegaard,” I take issue with the idea that Kierkegaardian thought involves an anti-essentialist rejection of ontology. I argue that Kierkegaard’s keynote existential analysis is paralleled by, if not tacitly set within, a less developed yet explicit ontology of human being. This “subjective ontology” is at once an ontology of the existing subject, and a subjectization of ontology. Thus, the essay has two aims. First, I seek to revive and further debate surrounding the structure of the Kierkegaardian self, by tracing something of its dynamic three-fold relational structure and various metaphysical polarities. Accordingly, spirit, anxiety and despair are understood in their ontological dimensions, and not just as existential possibilities. Second, I propose a way of bringing together Kierkegaardian existentiality (the three stages) with the ontology (the three relations). Despite important asymmetries between these two structures, the unity of Kierkegaard’s approach can only be appreciated through viewing them synoptically.

Year2004
JournalInternational Philosophical Quarterly
Journal citation44 (1), pp. 5 - 22
PublisherPhilosophy Documentation Center
ISSN2153-8077
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.5840/ipq200444161
Scopus EID2-s2.0-62449127802
Open accessOpen access
Page range5 - 22
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Author's accepted manuscript
Publisher's version
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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